more thoughts on what white people can do to fight racism

Some thoughts and suggestions for white people who want to fight racism:

  • It’s okay if you want to talk about the grief and sadness and hopelessness you feel as a white person. Just keep it private. Any time you post publicly about your inner experience, it takes away from the real issues.
  • It’s okay if you want to join in a march or a public civil action to show your solidarity, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re trying to get pats on the back from people for meaning well. Be careful that your public sharing of those experiences aren’t about you and how good you feel having taken part.
  • It’s okay if you don’t post publicly about the revolution or racism. But, look at your motivations. Why are you not posting anything at all? Okay. Now ask yourself again. Are you being honest with yourself? Sharing information keeps the issues on the radars of your friends and family, showing you find it important.
  • It’s okay if you do or say something insensitive. Learn from it and try again.
  • It’s okay if you write a blog post about what white people can do even if some people might see it as not worthwhile.

We need to listen to black and brown voices. Black and brown voices should be the public voice of this revolution. At the same time, we need to keep talking to each other—challenging each other—so we don’t fall into the ease of and comfort of denial and apathy.

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mourning and action: what white people can do

Just like the time after a loved one dies, it feels disrespectful to go on with life as if nothing has happened. Of course, live does go on. For those of us with the option of moving into denial, I hope you will #staywoke — don’t let the convenience of your whiteness let this crisis slip into the background.

Read this and do these things: 12 Ways to Be a White Ally to Black People*

Please, stay woke.

edited to add: a friend pointed out these actions are almost exclusively intellectual and internal. We want *actions.* I’d follow the lead of Mike Brown’s parents. Talk to local politicians about requiring all police to wear body cameras. Find your elected officials here.


* I dislike the term “ally” because it minimizes the experience of the oppressed, as if the voices of those of us benefitting from racism are just as important. We are a part of the problem. While there are things we can and should be doing in the fight, those who are damaged by racism every day need to lead us.




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why kale?

I hate how hipster I am about kale. My ego needs people to know not only did I grow up eating kale, but as an adult I’ve loved kale since my first daughter was tiny; about 10+ years. I got my (original) bumper sticker then, too.

The reason I love it is pretty simple, though the list is long, too:

  • absurdly dense nutritional value
  • can be grown year round – no kidding (sweeter when it’s cold)
  • *super* cheap
  • soooo easy to grow
  • amazing range of ways to cook and eat it
  • tastier and easier to cook, more versatile than collards and also more versatile than chard

For me, the bumper sticker means that if everyone ate more kale—especially if more people grew it for their friends, family, and neighbors—the world would be a better place. We’d be healthier; the planet would be healthier; and we’d all save money.

Eat more kale.


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with all this time

In less than two months, I’ve learned a few things about having all this extra time now that both of my daughters are in school five days a week:

  • Everyone I talk to thinks about how much time they have, don’t have, how they could use it better, how best to manage it;
  • Because I allow myself time for tasks that previously fell much lower down on my priorities list, I’m more busy than before both girls were in school;
  • My too-busy is stressful, but it’s at a more mindful pace than when I had at least one kiddo with me most of the time;
  • The chronic health issues I’ve dealt with over the years might have been expressions of the physical and emotional stress that came with trying to make a living while single parenting non-school-age children (tbd);
  • Having time available to contemplate how to best manage my time is a significant improvement in my life;
  • I think about—I’m an introvert in the extreme, so I don’t act on this much—having a personal life beyond the survival level;
  • Self-care is rising on my priorities list.

Anxiety over finances has me considering a new no groceries challenge. With 3-5 school lunches x2 each week it would be a much more significant challenge. Perhaps a modified version…

(Just a “checking in” blog post to stop the darned spammers from thinking this site is inactive!)

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Filed under mindful living, this blog, writing

wordless wednesday


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September 24, 2014 · 9:10 am